The global week of action against gun violence is a reminder that gun violence is a daily reality for many South Africans: 18 people are shot and killed every day. And many more are injured: it is estimated that for every gunshot victim, between three to four people survive a gun shot. That means that between 19, 000 and 26, 000 people survive being shot every year in South Africa.
South Africa remains in the top 18 countries across the world that record homicide rates greater than 30/100, 000 populations.
Just over six months ago Bafana Bafana Captain, Senzo Meyiwa, was killed by gunshot. The best way to honour his memory is to help build a safe and secure country for all who live in it. One way to that is to rid our country of the illegal firearms which are used in crime: and holding a national firearms amnesty with no questions asked could be the first step towards achieving this.
Strengthening our national gun law is another step towards achieving the goal of a society in which we are free from the fear of gun violence. In the next few months Parliament will consider the Firearms Control Amendment Act. The SAFA Senzo Meyiwa Gun Control Committee urges MPs to adopt those measures in the Bill which will strengthen the law, thereby contributing to the reduction in gun deaths in our country.
Finally the Committee is committed to turning weapons of destruction into beautiful art pieces. The Committee will explore ways in which we can, in partnership with key stakeholders, commission artists to use surplus destroyed firearms to create something that speaks to the beauty of life rather than the destruction wrought by guns in our society.